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News > Collegians > Announcing the 2024 Distinguished Collegian Awardees

Announcing the 2024 Distinguished Collegian Awardees

Judge Wilson Isaac, Roimata Templeton and Daniel Vettori will be honoured at a special dinner on Saturday, 12 October.
11 Jun 2024
Written by Suzanne Miller
Collegians

The St Paul's Distinguished Collegian Award is presented to Collegians who have made an outstanding contribution to or demonstrated leadership in their profession or community. The 2024 awardees are:  

Judge Wilson Isaac - School House (1966-1970) - Justice | Māori Land Court

Judge Wilson Isaac's (Ngāti Porou, Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Kahungunu) career in the legal profession reflects a steadfast commitment to justice and indigenous rights. With nearly three decades of service in the Māori Land Court, his expertise in Māori land law and advocacy for indigenous rights have left a lasting impact.

Judge Isaac's journey to excellence began in the school's formative years under the leadership of well-loved headmaster Reg Hornsby. Hailing from Waimana, he arrived at St Paul’s Collegiate School as a boarder, immersing himself in both academic and sporting pursuits. As a standout member of the school community, Judge Isaac excelled both on the field and in the classroom. His contributions to rugby and athletics, including representing the Waikato Representative teams in both sports saw him a frequent name in the record books of the school. In his final year, he served as a house prefect, demonstrating leadership qualities that would define his future endeavours.

Following his tenure at St Paul’s, Judge Isaac pursued a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from Otago University. His dedication to legal scholarship and advocacy for indigenous rights culminated in the prestigious honour of receiving an honorary Doctor of Laws from Otago University in 2023.

Rising through the ranks to assume leadership roles, including Chief Judge and Chair of the Waitangi Tribunal, Judge Isaac has addressed complex legal issues and advanced indigenous rights within New Zealand's legal framework. Additionally, Judge Isaac's contributions extend beyond New Zealand; he has also served as a Judge of the High Court of Niue and the High Court of the Cook Islands, further demonstrating his commitment to justice and legal scholarship in the wider Pacific region.

Roimata Templeton (née Raumati) - Harington House (1985-1986) - Arts

Roimata Templeton's career in the performing arts is a testament to her talent and dedication. As one of the first girls to start at St Paul’s in 1985, she not only holds a special place in the school's history but also serves as a trailblazer in the world of performing arts.

At St Paul’s, Roimata introduced boys to modern dance, played Lady Macbeth in the school production, led Hall House to debating victory, and was pivotal in the induction of the Cultural Tie. Roimata's education continued at Otago University where she played leads in operas, won prizes, and gained a Bachelor of Music Honours, First class.

It was at Trinity College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music in London that she began gigging and freelancing on the Early Music and opera scene with companies including Mayfield Chamber Opera, Pocket Opera and European Chamber Opera. Performance highlights include Tap dancing solo in Knickerbocker Holiday at the Barbican, playing Galatea in Acis & Galatea and Lucia in The Rape of Lucretia at the BAC, the Narrator in Joseph And His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat at the Royal Festival Hall, freelancing on the Early Music and opera scene, and playing Maria in West Side Story at Buckingham Palace.

An established triple threat, Roimata has worked at the highest calibre in large-scale, long-run, Disney, Cameron Mackintosh, and Stage Entertainment productions. Her credits include Grizabella, Rumpleteaser, Jellylorum, Jenyanydots, and Bombalurina in Cats, all female roles in Beauty & The Beast, and Miss Andrew, Miss Lark, and Bird Woman in Mary Poppins.

Combination Director/Choreographer/Performer credits include The Sopranos, The Sopranos Versus The Tenors, and the rock show Somebody To Love with Icon Theatrical (UK, European, Scandinavian, and South African Tours).

Based in Germany, Roimata raised three amazing daughters – backstage, in dressing rooms, and on the international stage in their own right. Having taught and directed throughout her career (including a six-week stint back at St Paul’s in 2010 to assist on and conduct the musical Sweeney Todd), September 2024 marks Roimata’s return to London where she is excited to begin truly focusing on educating young performers of the future. She looks forward to returning to St Paul’s one day to direct a musical or two.

Daniel Vettori - Hall House (1992-1996) - Sport

Daniel Vettori's achievements in cricket are nothing short of remarkable. As the youngest player to represent New Zealand in test cricket, he embarked on a journey that would see him etch his name in the history of cricket.

Throughout his career, Vettori's prowess as a left-arm spinner was widely recognized, with his remarkable accomplishment of claiming 300 Test wickets placing him among the elite few in cricket history. His status as the eighth player in test cricket history to achieve the dual feat of 300 wickets and 3,000 runs speaks volumes about his all-round abilities and his impact on the game.

Daniel enrolled at St Paul’s Collegiate School in 1992, where he swiftly demonstrated his exceptional sporting prowess and excelled at Tihoi Venture School. He held the position of captain for both the First XI cricket and football teams, and during his time at school, he was selected for the New Zealand Cricket Academy.

Beyond his achievements on the field, Daniel showcased his versatility and talents in other areas. He displayed a keen interest in writing, contributing as a writer and editor for the school newspaper and was the Head of Hall House in his final year.

As the youngest player to represent New Zealand in test cricket, Daniel embarked on a remarkable journey that would see him become the country's most-capped Test and One Day International cricketer.

His leadership during his tenure as captain from 2007 to 2011 propelled the team to notable successes in global tournaments, solidifying his legacy as one of New Zealand's cricketing icons.

His dedication to coaching reflects his ongoing commitment to the development of cricket, inspiring future generations of players.

The 2024 Collegian Awardees will be honoured at a special dinner on Saturday 12 October 2024 at St Paul’s Collegiate School. Tickets are available here.

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